Even small amounts of alcohol increase a woman’s risk of cancer
A study involving more than a million women found that drinking the equivalent of just one small glass of wine a day significantly increased the risk of common cancers
* Digg it * Ian Sample, science correspondent * guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 February 2009 21.00 GMT * Article history
Young woman drinking a glass of red wine Young woman drinking a glass of red wine
A daily drink significantly raised the risk of breast, liver and rectal cancer. Photograph: Martin Lee/Rex Features
Women who drink a glass of wine a day are more likely to develop a range of cancers than are teetotallers, according to the largest study ever conducted into drinking and cancer.
A daily drink was found to significantly raise the risk of breast, liver and rectal cancer, and is estimated to account for more than 7,000 extra cases of cancer each year in the UK.
Researchers at the University of Oxford said the findings, which are part of the Million Women Study, make clear that even light, regular drinking can be a serious threat to health.
Naomi Allen, a cancer epidemiologist who led the research, used medical records to identify cases of cancer among a group of 1,280,296 middled-aged women. Of the women who drank, the average intake was one unit per day, the equivalent to a small glass of wine or 8g of alcohol. A pint of beer would count as two units. Very few of the women consumed more than three drinks a day.
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